Matchup Mulligan: Burn

RUG Delver Final Hand Answer

Hand 10: (on the play)

Chrome Mox Chrome Mox DarkRitual Ponder Brainstorm Brainstorm Empty The Warrens


I’m a risk taker, you need to find a land and then either a black or red card off of Brainstorm. I like my chances for this (I’ll be honest, I don’t know the exact odds.), there’s also other scenarios that include Lotus Petal.



Hand 1: (on the play)

DarkRitual Brainstorm Ponder BurningWish Badlands Lions Eye Diamond Infernal Tutor


This hand is fairly flexible, you could wait a turn and try to draw a land to cast Ad Nauseam or you can go all-in for Empty the Warrens. If you’re not fearing Eidolon of the Great Revel, you could also aim to use your graveyard with Past in Flames. On the play, I prefer ten Goblins as it will win most games with very little risk.


Hand 2: (on the draw)

Rite Of Flame Chrome Mox Polluted Delta Duress Ad Nauseam DarkRitual Ponder


It should be obvious, but with newer storm players I’ve seen this a lot – don’t be afraid to cast Ad Nauseam! This deck can win the game at low-life totals with Ad Nauseam (be aware of Fireblast). That said, this hand can cast Ad Nauseam without the fear of Fireblast. The lowest possible life-total you could be at on turn one is 16 life. You always take that!


Hand 3: (on the play)

Ponder Brainstorm Thoughtseize Underground Sea BurningWish Bloodstained Mire Polluted Delta


“This hand has mana and spells! Why should I mulligan this?” It’s actually pretty easy, you can’t play meaningful Magic with this seven. You’ll send too much time trying to piece together a combo and in the meantime your opponent doesn’t even need Eidolon of the Great Revel to beat you. This hand loses to the average burn draw.


Hand 4: (on the draw)

Thoughtseize Swamp Rite Of Flame Rite Of Flame DarkRitual BurningWish Bloodstained Mire


All day. People tend to not know if they should cast Thoughtseize or not against Burn, this is a situation where it’s appropriate. Here I would cast it turn one off of basic Swamp looking to discard Eidolon of the Great Revel. Then on the second turn, you’re able to play your mana spells into Burning Wish for Empty the Warrens!


Hand 5: (on the play)

Ponder Brainstorm Lions Eye Diamond Rite Of Flame Duress Thoughtseize


You can’t keep hands that don’t play Magic, don’t be afraid to mulligan.



Website recommendation for sideboarding

Abrupt Decay Abrupt Decay Echoing Truth Echoing Truth Empty The Warrens Empty The Warrens Past In Flames Tendrils Of Agony
Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Thoughtseize Duress Duress Duress Ad Nauseam


Hand 6: (on the draw)

Echoing Truth Abrupt Decay Empty The Warrens Ponder BurningWish Bloodstained Mire Infernal Tutor


While you drew two answers to Eidolon of the Great Revel, your hand doesn’t really do a whole lot. It’s important to have a balance of cards, especially when your opponent is trying to kill you quickly. Even if you play your Ponder into a land AND answer a creature on the second turn, you can’t win on turn three.


Hand 7: (on the play)

Rite Of Flame Rite Of Flame Empty The Warrens Echoing Truth Ponder Polluted Delta BurningWish


This hand is interesting to me because you have the choice of playing Ponder on the first turn or making six Goblins. Six Goblins on turn one may not be fast enough, that said, eight Goblins on turn two may not be good enough either. That said, this hand has enough of the tools that contain the possibility of winning where I would keep.

What would you do? Turn 1 Goblins or Turn 2?


Hand 8: (on the draw)

DarkRitual Rite Of Flame Rite Of Flame Lotus Petal Infernal Tutor Lions Eye Diamond Past In Flames


This hand is great! You do need to draw a mana-source of some sort. Then you have a clean Past in Flames kill, there’s always the chance your opponent opens up on Leyline of the Void (I’ve had it happen numerous times), but even then with a mana source you can always cast Empty the Warrens. There is always the downside that you miss and your opponent has a second turn Eidolon of the Great Revel or Pyrostatic Pillar, but you have to play the odds that you’ll hit. You have 29/53 cards that win the game, which is 54% odds that you win the game – take it.


Hand 9: (on the play)

Tendrils Of Agony DarkRitual DarkRitual Polluted Delta Island Bloodstained Mire Chrome Mox


While gaining life is traditionally good against Burn, it’s not what the match-up is about. Gaining eight life and passing the turn back will not win you the game. This hand isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


Hand 10: (on the draw)

DarkRitual DarkRitual Ponder Rite Of Flame BurningWish Chrome Mox

Stay tuned for the next article!

I’ll provide my answer in the next article, but for now, make sure to post your thoughts!